In a recent interview, I was asked whether all the new spending schemes proposed by Democratic candidates would lead (as has been the case in Europe) to enormous tax increases on the middle class.
The answer is yes, of course.
But most of the candidates are not honest on this issues (with the partial exception of Crazy Bernie). They’re promising – literally – trillions of dollars in added handouts, but their proposed tax increases only cover a tiny fraction of the cost.
Elizabeth Warren may be the most extreme example of this phenomenon.
She’s embraced every possible tax on higher-income taxpayers, including a sure-to-backfire wealth tax. But all of those tax increases wouldn’t come close to financing her spending agenda – even if one makes the heroic assumption that there’s no adverse economic impact and negative revenue feedback.
The Wall Street Journal opined on her absurd approach.
But it’s not just the pro-market crowd at the Wall Street Journal that is raising the issue.
Even writers at Vox find it difficult to rationalize Sen. Warren’s evasive math.
It’s gotten to the point that some left-leaning economists are scrambling to help square Warren’s circle.
Here are some excerpts from a report in today’s Washington Post, including some of the horrifying tax increases that her advisers are contemplating.
Wow, a smorgasbord of French-style tax ideas.
Let’s close with a chart from Brian Riedl of the Manhattan Institute.
As you can see, even if you combine all of the class-warfare taxes, they don’t come close to paying the $30 trillion price tag of Medicare for All.
The only good news, so to speak, is that Sen. Warren is a politician. She’s first and foremost interested in winning office and probably isn’t totally serious about actually creating all sorts of new entitlement schemes (just like I don’t particularly believe Republicans who put forth election-year plans for tax reform).
But that’s hardly a comforting observation since there would be “public choice” pressures to adopt at least some bad policy if she got to the White House.